Let’s play ball! Pickle ball, that is. Pickle ball is the fastest growing sport in America. With minimal learning time and coaching needed, pickle ball can be picked up in no time. You can go from being inexperienced to playing a competitive game with your friends in a matter of minutes. Pickle ball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. With a court 20 ft by 44 ft court (a scaled down version of a tennis court) and with a low net, pickle ball is easier on the joints and body2. There are two side lines, two baselines and two non-volley lines which create two non-volley zones known as the kitchen. The center line divides the service courts, and every point begins with an underhand serve behind the base line across the court into the opposite opponent’s service court and not in the kitchen. Once the ball is serviced the double bounce rule goes in to effect-this means the ball must bounce once on each side before either team can volley the ball in the air. Then each team may begin to volley the ball back and forth with one bounce or no bounce
Benefits of pickle Ball:
Pickleball is less taxing than tennis; however, it is still enough of an aerobic workout that it improves cardiovascular health and fitness when played three times a week for one hour2. This can help improve blood pressure and cardiovascular endurance. Pickleball can help prevent and manage diabetes by improving the production of insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.
Pickleball is a great way to burn calories and get the body moving without feeling like you are spending hours on a treadmill. Instead, you are playing a fun, competitive game with friends! Pickleball is an excellent way to improve your strength, balance, and agility with the variety of foot work, weight shifting, and potential single leg stance required to maneuver around the court2. The fast pace of the game (like ping-pong) is a great way to improve hand eye coordination, which keeps the mind sharp2. Overhead serves are not allowed in pickleball, which is good for individuals with shoulder complications.
Apart from the physical aspect, pickleball can improve mood and mental health by warding off depression. Increasing heart rate with moderate exercise can release feel-good endorphins to help ease our minds. Pickleball is played on a small court increasing the social interaction with friends, family, and teammates!
Check with an Ageility Physical therapist or personal trainer near you to do an overall assessment to make sure you have proper form before starting Pickleball. Look up the nearest pickleball signup near you in your community! Get out there, get healthy and get living!
1 Kalb, G. (2020, July 17). Draw the Line – Pickleball Players want respect (and some lines). Retrieved from https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/2020/07/draw-the-line-pickleball-players-want-respect-and-some-lines/
2 Publishing, H. H. (n.d.). Pickleball pleasures and pitfalls. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/pickleball-pleasures-and-pitfalls